Cabbagetown

(Urban Community)
Currently Exists

Other Names (also known as): Old Cabbagetown

LOCATION:York County
Current (Municipal) Location: Metropolitan Toronto

The redeveloped area south of Gerrard St., was originally occupied by poor Catholic Irish migrants, from about 1845 to the 1940s. They were employed by the brewing and distilling industries which grew around the district known as Corktown (note the double meaning) at the foot of Parliament St. North of Gerrard, to the southern boundary of St. James Cemetery, which dates from 1854, was developed mostly between 1875 and 1890. This latter area is the remaining remnant of old Cabbagetown, but is still, according to the New York Times, the largest area of Victorian housing in North America. From about 1880, up to the 1930s, the remnant was occupied by predominantly Protestant Ulster families. In both areas, from the beginning, a sizeable scatter of Macedonians and other Slavic families lived. Michael Ondaatche (another Cabbagetowner) wrote beautifully about these people in "In the Skin of the Lion" a few years ago. As for the name "Cabbagetown", it seems to derive from the garden plots of the original Catholic families, although nothing is definitive.

Source(s) of Information:
Alan Waterhouse


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